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Abies fanjingshanensis

Abies fanjingshanensis - Fanjingshan fir, Fanjing Mountain fir, Fanjingshan blue fir, Guizhou fir
  • Abies fanjingshanensis - Fanjingshan fir, Fanjing Mountain fir, Fanjingshan blue fir, Guizhou fir - Click to enlarge
  • Abies fanjingshanensis branches - Click to enlarge
  • Abies fanjingshanensis leaves - Click to enlarge


Product Information


Scientific name: Abies fanjingshanensis  W.L.Huang , Y.L.Tu & S.Z.Fang  1984

Synonyms: Abies fargesii var. fanjingshanensis (W.L. Huang) Silba

Common names: Fanjingshan fir, Fanjing Mountain fir, Fanjingshan blue fir, Guizhou fir (English), Fanjingshan lengshan (Chinese)



Tree to 15-22 m tall, with trunk to 0.5-0.8 m in diameter. Crown (narrowly) pyramidal or oblong cylindrical. Bark of young trees grey, smooth, becoming dark grey or greyish brown, scaly and fissured on lower part of trunk. Branches of first order large, massive, spreading horizontally; branches of second order spreading or ascending. Branchlets stout, firm, light or dark reddish brown, in 2-3 years becoming dark brown, ridged and grooved, glabrous or with pubescence in the grooves; leaf scars circular. Vegetative buds ovoid-globular ovate, reddish brown, persisting several years. Leaves spirally arranged, crowded, the lower more or less pectinate, in two lateral rows, the other more radially spreading or assurgent and directed obliquely forward, often recurved near shoot apex, 1-4.5 cm long (but mostly less than 2.5 cm), 2-3 mm wide, twisted or curved at base, linear, or the shorter leaves ligulate linear, flattened, longitudinally grooved and light green above, two whitish bands below. Stomata in two bands separated by a narrow midrib below. Pollen cones lateral, axillary, crowded, oblong, 1-1.5 cm long, yellow, with red microsporophylls. Seed cones lateral, erect; peduncles 0.8-1 cm; oval cylindric or barrel shaped, with truncate or umbilicate apex 5-6(-7) cm long, 3.5-4 cm wide, bluish purple when immature, maturing to dark purplish brown, becoming dark brown when ripe; cone rachis persistent, fusiform, blackish brown. Seeds ovoid-conical, slightly flattened, length x width 6-8 x 4-6 mm, light brown or reddish brown.

A relict species occurring only in inaccessible areas on Fanjing Shan Mountain, near Jiangkou in NE Guizhou, China; 2,100-2,300 m. The climate on this mountain is cool and moist, with only a short summer season at this altitude. 


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered

This species is closely related to Abies fargesii and is possibly only a subspecies, even though it occurs at least 500 km to the south of the nearest occurrence of Abies fargesii in the NW of Hubei.

Abies fanjingshanensis extent of occurrence is less than 20 km², it is known from 2-5 locations (there is part of the mountain which is not impacted by the acid rain), and there is a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals. The population size is less than 2,500 mature individuals and all of these are in one subpopulation which is undergoing continuing decline. The species therefore qualifies as Endangered under the B and C criteria.

Is locally common, but many trees have died due to the impacts of acid rain. The population is estimated to number about 17,000 trees, but the number of mature trees is probably less than 2,500 (<10% of the population).

This rare species has been found on Mt. Fanjing (Wuling Shan) at 2,100-2,300 m a.s.l. The species occurs there in a mixed forest with, among other species, Tsuga chinensis, Acer flabellatum, Rhododendron hypoglaucum, Enkiartnus chinensis and Prunus serrulata. Only a few Abies trees are found scattered in the forest.

Only known from a single locality with a small population in forest dominated by other tree species. Mt. Fanjing has a forest reserve which includes this species. The population has been in decline for some time because of the impacts of acid rain presumably caused by air pollution. The acid rain problem is ongoing. The entire population occurs within a forest reserve.  Attempts are required to identify the source/s of the pollution which are resulting in acid rain to see if any mitigation measures can be taken. There is a botanic garden in Guizhou Province which has this species in cultivation and they have an ex situ cultivation programme underway.


Cultivars: -



  • Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
  • Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland

Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeABI6AIJ655
Weight1.5 kg
Height20 - 25 cm

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